Most investors own a portfolio of mutual funds, but why not consider one built solely from exchange traded funds (ETFs)?

If that idea sounds too radical for now, consider that mutual funds and ETFs can exist in a complementary relationship, giving investors the perfect amount of exposure.

Many investors use ETFs to represent one or two positions, such as an industry-focused fund in place of its actively managed benchmark, reports Katy Marquardt for U.S. News & World Report.

Another point sharply in favor of ETFs is that on average, active mutual fund managers weren’t earning their keep, even before the current market meltdown. If you look back even 10 years, your positions are probably down. There is nothing you can do to change the past, but you can readjust going forward. If you need to rebalance your portfolio, now is the time to do it.

The  upside to selling a mutual fund and buying an ETF in its place now is that you can purchase ETFs at deep discounts, and if your mutual fund is getting ready to distribute those capital gains, why not replace it with an ETF in a similar asset class? You have a loss you can write off future gains.

Ultimately, your portfolio allocation also hinges on a number of factors, including financial goals, age, life expectancy and your ability to tolerate risk.

Here are three sample portfolios for investors to consider, depending on the factors listed above. For more information about portfolio-building with ETFs and what this could mean to you, have a look at iMoney: Profitable ETF Strategies for Every Investor.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.